National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day this Sunday and runs through May 20.
News Channel 3 spoke to local doctors and a cancer survivor who advocate for women and girls to take the time to prioritize their health.
Shay Moraga is a breast cancer survivor who has been in remission since 2017 and is sharing her story to help other women.
The CDC recognizes National Women’s Health Week beginning on Mother’s Day and shares these recommendations:
- Get regular checkups
- Talk to a health care provider about any health problems you have
- Keep active
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Prioritizing your mental health and learning techniques to cope with stress
Moraga even recommends finding a support group to help you get started on your path to health.
“Have fun doing it, go for a walk, we’ve met at our mural and we’re going for a four-mile walk around here on El Paseo, and then we’d go get coffee or tea,” Moraga says.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends a ‘Well Woman Exam’ which includes an annual physical, breast and pelvic exam.
Alison Mayer Sachs of the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center encourages women to consider the risks of other diseases.
“In addition to screening for breast and cervical cancer, women should discuss with their doctor whether they are at risk for lung cancer. Now we screen for lung cancer, you have to meet certain criteria. What about with esophageal cancer? There are certain criteria for that,” says Sachs.
Both Moraga and Sachs also stress the importance of being your own advocate.
“If I hadn’t been that advocate at the time, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you today,” Moraga says.
Sachs also adds: “Speak up, ask for what you want. You’ll get it. Just don’t skip the screenings.”
Moraga says the more she shares with her loved ones, the easier it has been to combat the stigma surrounding women’s health issues.
“The best thing we can do is talk about our health and talk about the good and the bad. We don’t have to be ashamed,” says Moraga.